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July 2021

International headquarters

REE Automotive to Open US Headquarters in Austin, Texas

Zero-emission technology company REE Automotive has named Austin, Texas, the new headquarters for its US headquarters. The Israel-based electric mobility company is now looking to capitalize on a growing market in North America by opening a headquarters in Lone Star State, alongside an integration center for assembly and testing of its proprietary technologies.

REE Automotive is an electric mobility solutions company based in Tel Aviv, Israel, with additional subsidiaries in the US, UK and Germany.

The company specializes in the development and manufacture of modular EV platforms for B2B transactions in addition to its proprietary REEcorners. This year alone, REE announced collaborations with Magna International and Toyota’s Hino Motors.

Last February, REE announced an ongoing SPAC merger with 10X Capital Venture Acquisition Corp. ($ VCVC), raking in $ 500 million in gross revenue to accelerate mass production in 2023.

Yesterday, the business combination has been approved by shareholders and officially closed. This morning, REE debuted on the Nasdaq under the ticker $ REE.

REE Automotive is now launching into the running following its approved merger by announcing a new head office on American soil.

A REE corner module / Source: REE Automotive

REE Automotive’s new headquarters will be in Austin, Texas

In A press release this morning, REE Automotive shared plans for a U.S. headquarters in the booming city of Austin, Texas, promising more than 150 jobs over the next few years.

Additionally, Austin will house REE’s first asset light integration center, where it will assemble and test its REEcorner technology and modular electric vehicle platforms.

The new integration center brings REE’s technology to current and future North American automotive partners. REE co-founder and CEO Daniel Barel shares his thoughts on the city:

Establishing our US headquarters in Austin, Texas best positions us for rapid growth and expansion. Austin is fast becoming a global hotbed for elite tech professionals. REE must continue to grow and prosper, and Austin’s drive and entrepreneurial spirit fits perfectly with REE’s culture and values. Our presence in the United States will allow us to capitalize on the incredible opportunities in the United States market and to connect with our customers and partners based in North America, including Magna International and JB Poindexter, as we work together to develop and deliver modular electric vehicles (MEV).

A representative from REE Automotive said Electrek the company will inaugurate the new headquarters and the new integration center this year.

Construction is expected to be completed in the second half of 2022 and has an annual capacity of 40,000 modular EV platforms.

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History organization

Salinas students stand up for ethnic studies – Voices of Monterey Bay

Zaira Hernandez testifies at school board meeting | Zoom screenshot

| YOUTH BEAT

By Karen Dorantes

On June 22, parents and grandparents arrived at a meeting of the Salinas Union High School District Governing Board to express their disapproval of the ethnic studies program currently taught in high schools in the district.

That night, no student was there to defend him.

Mike Lipe, one of the adults who came forward to oppose the curriculum, told the board that “there is absolutely no room for activists in our school boards and administrations. . These principles are deeply rooted in radicalism and racism. They promote division and hatred within society.

But the board members who voted for ethnic studies as a condition for a one-semester graduation in 2019 – to be implemented for the class of 2024 – held on.

The council’s support for ethnic studies contrasted with a 2012 decision in Tucson, Arizona, where one of the most popular and successful Mexican-American ethnic studies courses was banned by a law banning any course that ” advocates ethnic solidarity ”.

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Diego Puga Escobar speaks at school board meeting | Zoom screenshot

Carissa Purnell, who has taught ethnic studies in Salinas for the past six years, defined ethnic studies as “courses that use an interdisciplinary approach to analyze historical and contemporary issues and experiences associated with race, class and genre “.

She said ethnic studies were first introduced in the fall of 1968, when the Black Student Union led a student strike at San Francisco State University to demand more representation on campus.

School board president Phillip Tabera said it took five years of discussions to approve the district’s one-year ethnic studies course in 2018. It has become an option for all five high schools in Salinas this year. -the. The council approved a one-semester ethnic studies course in 2019 that will become a graduation requirement for the freshman class of 2024. District officials said the curriculum was developed with input from students. teachers, parents, students and the board.

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CarissaOffice provided-by-Alisal-Union-School-District

Carissa Purnell | Photo provided

Students defend ethnic studies

After the controversy at the June 22 meeting, about half a dozen young people came to the July 13 board meeting to express their support for the ethnic studies program. Many other students attended the meeting, hoping to speak, but public testimony was limited by the council. The most notable group of students was from La Cosecha, a youth organization that is part of the Building Healthy Communities initiative. (Disclosure: I am a member of La Cosecha.)

Seeing a group of students come together and stand up against adults telling them what they should and shouldn’t study in schools is something new to this generation.

Young people in La Cosecha, who are mostly Latino, said they supported ethnic studies because they wanted professionals to teach them about their own history. “My story should be taught, my story should be shown in these schools,” said Diego Puga Escobar, a member of La Cosecha and entering his last year at Alisal High School.

Escobar said after the meeting that he chose to speak to the board because he wanted to be the voice of those who might have been afraid to stand up for ethnic studies. Without ethnic studies, he said he believed there was a much bigger “gap” between people of different cultures, nationalities or ethnicities.

“If we are constantly taught a [side of history], then we’re going to be made to believe that there is only one truth, ”Escobar said. “All we’re trying to do is provide the resources to our people and be able to see that there are many truths on one side. “

Maraly Escalante introduced herself but was unable to speak at the July 13 meeting due to lack of time. She recently graduated from North Salinas High School and took an Ethnic Studies course at Hartnell College. She said the class allowed her to see Mexicans and Latinas in history, but she also learned about the history of other ethnicities and races.

Escalante said she believes ethnic studies gives students a better understanding of where members of their community come from, what their cultures are like, and what challenges they may have.

“I feel like ethnic studies unites us more because we have a new understanding,” she said. “A friend of mine used to tell me that throughout his school career he was ashamed of being African American and he didn’t know why he should be ashamed of it. In a way, ethnic studies help us understand why certain stereotypes exist in our communities and how to correct them.

To those who oppose ethnic studies, Escalante replied, “Yes, a lot of people can identify as Americans, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they see themselves everywhere. [the version of] American history they teach in high schools.

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Philip-Tabera-supplied-by-Carlos-Castro

Philippe Tabera | Photo by Carlos Castro

Meaningful conversation

Alma Cervantes, regional education equity manager for Building Healthy Communities, said her goal is to give young people a platform and “critically challenge a system that has prevented them from learning truth about this country, a system that has not provided a space for them to talk about their history, their history, their cultures.

Cervantes said ethnic studies creates a transformative space where students can engage in meaningful conversation not only with teachers, but with each other as well.

“Ethnic studies is beyond a curriculum,” she said. “It’s a transformative way for students to feel like they belong to the class. It supports their self-esteem, it supports their academics, good attendance and it allows us to see each other in the classrooms. “

Purnell cited three articles that support Cervantes’ point. She said research shows ethnic studies have been “proven to increase grade points, credits, attendance, graduation, and college education, as well as lead to better test scores,” she said. grades, math, reading, writing, science and social studies ”.

Zaira Hernandez, another La Cosecha member and recently graduated from Alisal High School, who spoke at the July 13 board meeting, said: “These young students are supposed to know who they are. , where they want to go and what they want. do for the rest of their lives, but how can you expect them to know who they are, who they are, without taking a course like this, which shares their history and culture? “

Beyond Salinas, on July 17, Gov. Gavin Newson signed a bill requiring freshmen at California State University to take an ethnic studies course to graduate.

Hernandez said pursuing ethnic studies has helped her discover people who may be more like her, not only in terms of race or ethnicity, but also gender. She disagrees with the claim that the program encourages hatred.

In fact, she says, it helps students respect others better. “It’s not trying to divide people.”

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Canadian army

Defense Minister urged military to create controversial aid role in Vancouver: Documents – National

Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan called on the military to create a post possibly occupied by a reserve officer from his former unit who had been suspended from Vancouver Police for an inappropriate relationship with a subordinate, according to notes from recently published information.

Sajjan also wanted the military to upgrade the post less than two months after Major Greg McCullough was hired, as the minister wanted even more support in his Vancouver constituency, the notes say, although that request has not come true. .

The briefing note comes amid lingering questions about how and why McCullough found himself in the unique position before his dismissal last month following revelations about the complaint and the disciplinary action taken against him while he was sergeant in the Vancouver Police Department.

McCullough was hired to support Sajjan in March 2020 despite an external investigation that found him guilty in 2018 of two counts of misconduct for his relationship with Const. Nicole Chan, who later committed suicide in January 2019.

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READ MORE: Sajjan’s assistant had an inappropriate relationship, suspended while with Vancouver Police

It also follows opposition calls for Sajjan’s resignation for his handling of allegations of sexual misconduct involving senior military commanders. Global News first reported allegations against retired General Jonathan Vance in February – which he denies – and since then concerns about an “Old Boys Network” protecting top brass have sparked a military sexual misconduct record.

Defense experts have described the case as an institutional crisis for the military.

Vance was charged earlier in July with one count of obstructing justice. Military police brought the charge but turned the matter over to civilian court, citing the “limitations” of the military justice system.


Click to play the video: “Gén.  Jonathan Vance accused of obstructing justice '







General Jonathan Vance accused of obstructing justice


General Jonathan Vance charged with obstructing justice – July 15, 2021

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Sajjan’s office acknowledged that the Minister and McCullough knew each other as officers of the British Columbia Regiment (Duke of Connaught’s Own) and that they both served concurrently with the Vancouver Police Department.

But he says the military was responsible for the process that led to McCullough’s hiring, and neither the minister nor his staff were aware of the complaint and disciplinary action taken against him while he was a sergeant. in the Vancouver Police Department.

READ MORE: Officer suspended for inappropriate relationship no longer working as Sajjan’s assistant

The Department of National Defense announced last month that McCullough was no longer working as Sajjan’s assistant, although he remains a member of the Canadian Army Reserve.

Prepared for Jonathan Vance, then Chief of the Defense Staff, dated May 6, 2020, the briefing note obtained by The Canadian Press through access to information does not mention McCullough’s name, but shows the minister personally led the charge for a new assistant in Vancouver.

While Sajjan at the time already had four military assistants in Ottawa, and the Defense Ministry says he has no record of such a post being created outside the capital, the memo reads: “The Minister has determined that additional full-time support is needed while in Vancouver.

He goes on to say that a “suitable candidate” was selected in March 2020 and was currently working with the minister, but that “based on the recent direction of the minister” Sajjan would need even more support and therefore the position should be reclassified from part-time to full-time role.

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Such an upgrade would have represented a significant pay rise for whoever held the post.

READ MORE: Sajjan censored by House of Commons for dealing with military sexual misconduct

The briefing note recommends that the post be reclassified and filled through an “open, fair and equitable” competition, although Defense Ministry spokesman Daniel Le Bouthillier said the reclassification no. had not taken place because such full-time positions only concern exceptional circumstances.

Sajjan spokesman Daniel Minden defended the creation of the post of military assistant in Vancouver, saying in an email: “In order to avoid the high costs of moving military personnel based in Ottawa to Vancouver, a post of military assistant Vancouver-based military assistant was created.

“During the COVID-19 pandemic, Minister Sajjan spent part of the last year working remotely from his constituency of Vancouver, where this support was even greater. “

The pandemic is not mentioned in the briefing note.


Click to play video:







Military Ombudsman blames Ottawa for inaction on sexual misconduct


Military Ombudsman Blames Ottawa for Inaction on Sexual Misconduct – June 22, 2021

Le Bouthillier said the post remains vacant.

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“Military assistants from Ottawa travel to Vancouver as needed to perform these tasks,” he added in an email.

“The function is still required, but an updated feasibility and effectiveness analysis (after several months of COVID-19 restrictions) is underway by the Canadian Armed Forces to make a decision on how best to structure the office of the military assistant. “

Reached by phone Thursday, McCullough declined to comment, saying he had gotten into trouble for previously speaking to The Canadian Press and was not allowed to speak further.

“Minister Sajjan had nothing to do with my hiring process,” he said last month. “He needed a military assistant on the west coast because of the time he’s spending here, and that’s it. I have not spoken with Minister Sajjan about this process, and I serve the Canadian Armed Forces.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau insisted that Sajjan, who has been Canada’s only defense minister since the Liberals took office in late 2015, is the right person to lead the charge when it comes to change military culture and eradicate sexual misconduct and hatred.

© 2021 The Canadian Press


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International headquarters

Soldo raises $ 180 million for its professional expense management platform – TechCrunch

Managing expenses has long been a headache for employees and accounting departments. For many, tracking and analyzing how money is spent on behalf of businesses is stuck in legacy software that is not well equipped to handle the latest demands. Today, British startups building solutions to bring the process into the 21st century are announcing a major funding round to double their growth.

BalanceProvide employee prepaid corporate card issuance platform linked to automated expense management system, achieved $ 180 million funding. Soldo currently has around 26,000 customers, from small and medium businesses to large multinationals in 30 countries, with Mercedes-Benz, GetYourGuide, Gymshark, Bauli and Brooks being popular. It’s a. Those.In addition to that, through the API, it also integrates With popular accounting packages used in organizations today – Ability to connect NetSuite, QuickBooks, Zucchetti, Xero and Soldo to over 50 expense management platforms, including Concur and Expensify.

The Series C cycle is led by Temasek of Singapore, with participation from Sunley House Capital, Advent International’s Crossover Fund, City Ventures, and former backers Axel, Battery Ventures and Dawn Capital. Silicon Valley Bank also provided a private amount of debt financing.

London-based company Sold was also unclear in its latest investment statement, but for reference, when it started raising funds in December, the company had around 278,800 people. It was valued at $ 10,000. PitchBook Data.. At the event, Sold said the tour was oversubscribed in the context of the company’s strong growth. Platform spending has quadrupled compared to the B-Series. $ 61 million for the 2019 round.. (Note: Soldo’s main business is in London, but it has a small head office in Dublin. Electronic Money License Part of the Brexit coverage in Ireland in 2019.)

More generally – and maybe because a lot of us spend more time away from headquarters, or maybe because some of us end up going out to meet people – the expense Management currently receives a lot of money. Warning. Earlier this month, Danish Pleo, one of Soldo’s biggest competitors, Raise $ 150 million at a valuation of $ 1.7 billion..

It’s a big market. The company claims the European expense management market is $ 170 billion.

At the heart of the challenge Soldo is trying to solve, spending is typically a very fragmented, undigitalized business, and the employees who rack up the spending aren’t usually accountants. In short, properly managing expenses is not one of our key skills. .. On the other hand, the costs themselves have evolved to cover all the by-products that have become easier to buy online, the way we work today, and much more. This can include memberships, travel and entertainment, home office supplies, etc. Purchase on behalf of the company for marketing campaigns, online advertising, etc.

If expenses are incurred digitally, tracking is easy, but often for services or goods purchased from IRL. This causes other problems. People often forget to get a receipt or lose it before filling out a report. Or pay for things out of pocket.

In addition, expenses are incurred by company card or bank transfer. The former is expensive and can be difficult to manage, while the latter has its own challenges. The process is slow and often requires several people to settle the payments.

Soldo’s approach to remedy this is first of all to facilitate the issuance of prepaid cards to employees in order to better manage their expenses. Then link the card to the application. The app will create an automatic prompt that will appear every time you make a purchase with your card, notifying you to get a receipt and download it.

“Soldo’s vision is to manage total business expenses, including advertising, software subscriptions, travel and entertainment, vendor management and payroll for all payment methods. Cards are just one of the many ways businesses can send money to their vendors, ”Email TechCrunch told TechCrunch. Carlo Guualandri, CEO and founder of Soldo. Unlike competitors like Pleo, he said: It’s important. This is because as the largest share of business expenses is transferred there, it becomes more valuable to customers using the expense management platform. “

Without a doubt, the growth of the company since its inception five years ago has seen a big slowdown in the form of Covid-19. The resulting recovery is proof that even the current market has found its place.

“The pandemic has almost completely wiped out travel and spending as a use case for corporate spending, given that a limited number of workers have traveled and had lunch on blockades,” Gualandri said. said sir. “It was very shocking to see Europe as a whole in the first weeks of March last year as people stayed at home due to the blockade. As a result, the trip is the number one company card. a. Due to its popularity and widespread use, a significant portion of financial services revenue was also lost. “But then two things happened. He continued.

“The number of spend use cases for other businesses has grown dramatically. There has been a global transition to e-commerce and the digitization of the financial sector. From supporting homeworkers to other business activities. There is a definite shift towards online shopping and you need a card to pay, ”he said. “In addition, many companies have started to distribute their products and services online, shifting most of their spending to online marketing. This is an example of a large expense that is usually paid for using a card. There have certainly been instances where some categories of spending have decreased and others have increased rapidly. I realized that many issues related to the pandemic have arisen and can be resolved. “

“Our experience with software and payment technologies gives us in-depth insight and Sold is at the forefront of financial digitization,” said Simon Lambert, director of Sunley House, Advent International’s cross-fund, in a statement. I’m sure I’ll stay on my feet. “The company operates in a large and rapidly growing market and is excited to join forces with a strong management team looking to create the leading payroll and expense automation platform in Europe. “

Soldo raises $ 180 million for its professional expense management platform – TechCrunch Source link Soldo raises $ 180 million for its professional expense management platform – TechCrunch


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Non profit living

Some residents oppose new plan to provide safe camping for homeless people in Los Angeles city parks – NBC Los Angeles

LA City Council is considering a plan that could separate parts of public parks for safe and secure camping sites for people who are homeless. And the news is not well received by locals.

Westchester Park and Mar Vista Park are two of the locations suggested in a feasibility study commissioned by LA City Councilor for District 11, Mike Bonin. Neighbors in Westchester point to picnic tables, ball fields and parking lots all cramped with tents that have grown exponentially during the COVID pandemic.

“No matter where they set up a safe campsite in Westchester Park, it’s going to affect us,” says Beth O’Rourke, director of youth sports for West Side rugby clubs. “We witnessed urinating in public, we saw excrement on the ground, around the field. The toilets are unusable for an adult and even less for a child.

The City of LA Parks and Recreation Department has been renovating the fields in recent weeks, but some residents say the tents lining the perimeter prove the priority is not on the kids using the park, but on the homeless people who abuse it.

“I don’t feel like they respect the fact that it belongs to everyone. Just for them, ”says Becca Prismantis, a Westchester resident who says she had to take her kids to nearby towns for their lacrosse teams.

Earlier this year, Bonin requested a feasibility study for an alternative to encampments and suggested part of Westchester Park and Mar Vista Park. NBC4 viewers shared photos showing campsites had invaded the softball fields.

“What we are proposing is to allow those who are here now to be in a certain section,” Bonin explained at a city council meeting in May. “Give them security, sanitation, services, install them in housing while restoring the rest of the park for general and public use. “

But some parents say the damage is done; teams have had to move to other parks, parents have had to leave their home neighborhoods to take their children to play – and all because they don’t feel safe in their own local park.

“I see things are taken care of, I see it’s just out of control,” says Prismantis.

But Stephanie Tatro says she has two young children whom she often brings to the park and feels very safe, even at night.

Tatro is a co-founder of the local Grass Roots Neighbors nonprofit and says she has gotten to know many of those who call Westchester Park home.

“I see a lot of uses happening in this park as well as the people who live here who are not housed and who are trying to take the next step in their lives and improve the circumstances,” Tatro says.

She believes the park is big enough for children and the homeless and denies any danger lurking nearby.

“I don’t see how the tents prevent access. Full access is available, ”she said.

But as the NBC4 I-Team first reported on May 20, crime is on the rise near parks and schools in Los Angeles where homeless settlements abound. NBC4 cameras caught brawls, weapons used to harass and threaten homeless people and angry parents over what they say is the city’s lack of interest in addressing the root causes of roaming.

Six days after the NBC4 report, Bonin lobbied city council to provide park space for homeless neighbors.

“I will gladly take all of these things off the table if people can come up with better solutions,” he told voters and colleagues at the May meeting.

Westchester parents say they have an idea.

“A different solution would be to send them or move them to a place that doesn’t take the kids away,” says O’Rourke. “It’s like homeless people are allowed to live here, but children are not allowed to play here.

The results of the feasibility study are expected in early August. Some residents argue that this will not be enough because the study does not take into account the community impact of such a plan, which they say would be a failure.


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History organization

The Space Collectibles Display and Sale takes place August 14 at the Sands Space History Center at the Cape Canaveral Space Station

the ree event is open to the public and features memorabilia related to space

The annual Space Collectibles Display and Sale is scheduled for Saturday, August 14, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Sands Space History Center, outside the Cape Canaveral Space Station. The free event is open to the public and features space-related memorabilia including unique and historical pins, badges, models, toys, mail envelopes, artwork and more.

BREVARD COUNTY • CAPE CANAVERAL, FLORIDA – The annual Space Collectibles Sale is scheduled for Saturday, August 14 from 10 am to 3 pm at the Sands Space History Center outside the Cape Canaveral Space Station.

The free event is open to the public and features space-related memorabilia, including unique and historical lapel pins, patches, models, toys, mail envelopes, artwork and more.

The US Air Force Space and Missile Museum Foundation, Inc., a nonprofit organization, hosts the event and proceeds are donated to museum programs and activities.

The Sands Space History Center is located just outside the main entrance to the Cape Canaveral Space Station at the end of State Road 401 on the north side of Port Canaveral at 100 Spaceport Way in Cape Canaveral.

For questions or more information, contact Sharon Rodriguez at 321-698-5854 or by email at [email protected]


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Canadian army

Smoke from wildfires in the west causes air pollution across the country

July 20 (Reuters) – Raging wildfires across the western United States and Canada, including a two-week “monster” fire in Oregon, spewed smoke and soot on Tuesday which blew eastward and caused harmful air pollution to New York City.

In 13 western states, more than 80 large active wildfires have charred nearly 1.3 million acres (526,090 hectares) of vegetation desiccated by drought in recent weeks, an area larger than the Delaware, according to the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) in Boise, Idaho.

Several hundred more fires have burned in western and central Canada. They included 86 classified as uncontrollable on Tuesday in British Columbia alone, which led authorities to declare a state of emergency.

The jet stream and other transcontinental air currents carried smoke and ash thousands of kilometers. Residents of remote towns felt the contamination of the air in their eyes, noses and lungs.

In New York City, where a gray haze enveloped the Manhattan skyline, the Air Quality Index (AQI) for fine particles reached 170, a level considered harmful even to healthy people and nine times higher than World Health Organization exposure recommendations. Philadelphia reached 172.

Other northeastern cities, including Boston and Hartford, Connecticut, had readings in the unhealthy zone above 150. Residents were advised to wear face masks outdoors to limit exposure.

Smoke from Canadian wildfires in Manitoba and Ontario in the United States likely pushed the AQI in Detroit and Cleveland above 125, considered unhealthy for sensitive people, the NIFC meteorologist said, Nick Nauslar. Smoke from forest fires from the western provinces of Canada has reached east to Ontario, triggering broad government air quality warnings.

In the western United States, parts of Idaho and Montana suffered unhealthy levels of air pollution from 40 nearby large fires and smoke from the Bootleg fire in southern Oregon, currently the largest in the United States.

Heavy exposure to smoke from wildfires has been linked to long-term respiratory consequences for firefighters, including a significantly elevated risk of developing asthma, according to a University of Alberta study released this week. week.

The general population also faces serious health effects.

The Bootleg Fire burns through vegetation near Paisley, Oregon, USA, July 20, 2021. REUTERS / David Ryder

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“Exposure to smoke from wildfires (…) increases susceptibility to respiratory infections, including COVID, increases the severity of these infections and makes recovery more difficult,” the Federal Councilor said by email. Margaret Key Air Resources.

THE “MONSTER” FIRE ENTERING THE 3RD WEEK

The forest fires themselves posed a more direct risk to life and property.

The Bootleg Fire has blackened 388,600 acres (157,260 hectares) of dry brush and wood in and around the Fremont-Winema National Forest, about 250 miles south of Portland, since July 6. Only three other forest fires in Oregon in the past century have burned more territory.

As of Tuesday, an army of some 2,200 people had succeeded in digging containment lines around 30% of the outskirts of the blaze, as the blaze spread further east and north.

Incident commander Rob Allen said in his daily report that the dry fuels in the fire area “will continue to burn and smoke for weeks.”

“Fighting this fire is a marathon, not a sprint,” Allen wrote. “We’re in there for as long as it takes to contain this monster safely.”

At least 67 houses were destroyed and 3,400 others were listed as threatened, with around 2,100 people ordered to evacuate or to be ready to flee at any time.

Western conflagrations, marking a heavier-than-normal start to the wildfire season, coincided with record heat that has ravaged much of the region in recent weeks and left hundreds dead.

Scientists said the increasing frequency and intensity of forest fires is largely attributable to prolonged drought and increased episodes of excessive heat that are symptomatic of climate change.

The Bootleg fire is so large that it sometimes generated its own climate – towering clouds of pyrocumulus of condensed moisture sucked through the fire’s smoke column from the burnt vegetation and of the surrounding air. These clouds can create thunderstorms and strong winds capable of starting new fires and spreading flames.

Reporting by Peter Szekely in New York and Steve Gorman in Los Angeles; additional reporting by Nia Williams in Calgary; Editing by Cynthia Osterman

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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History organization

Hackensack University Medical Center Foundation Welcomes New Trustees – Network News, Press Releases

July 20, 2021

From left to right: Stephen Martinez, Tom Evans and Tom Geisel. Not in the photo, Behnaz Baker.

Hackensack Meridian The Hackensack University Medical Center Foundation is pleased to announce the addition of Behnaz Baker, Thomas Evans, Stephen J. Martinez and Thomas X. Geisel to its Board of Trustees.

“These new directors are all great additions to our board,” said Clare Ward, Interim Executive Director, Hackensack University Medical Center Foundation and Vice President, Principal Giving, Hackensack Meridian Health Foundation. “Tom Evans and Stephen joined us at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and immediately stepped up to help Hackensack University Medical Center through its most difficult time in its history. Behnaz joins us as the pandemic appears to be ending, but she has been involved in medical center-related child-related causes for several years and is eager to use her time and talents as Hackensack University Medical Center continues. its expansion and recognition as one of the best hospitals in the country. Tom Geisel’s extensive experience in regional and national organizations, combined with his leadership experience, involvement in many leading industry associations and passion for extending his expertise to business organizations and the local community make him a wonderful addition to our board of directors.

Baker is the CIO and Executive Director of Integration at Riverside Medical Group, which is part of Optumcare. As a member of the leadership team, she leads several divisions of the practice to execute Riverside’s vision and strategy to provide the best possible care to New Jersey residents through partnerships with internal and external stakeholders. through growth and acquisitions. In 2018, Baker was recognized as one of New Jersey’s “50 Best Business Women” by NJBIZ. She and her husband, Omar Baker, MD, established the Dr. Omar and Behnaz Baker Patient Assistance Fund at Hackensack Meridian Children’s Health at Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital to provide financial assistance to children and families. faced with chronic health problems. Additionally, she was a member of the Hackensack Meridian Health Children’s Hospital Advisory Committee for the past two years. Baker resides in Manhattan with her husband and three children.

Evans retired from PwC after a 38-year career where he helped develop the organization’s best leaders and teams at all levels. He began his career at PwC in 1977 as a Chartered Accountant in the firm’s insurance practice before joining the Leadership & Development team to launch his industry-specific training efforts where he quickly rose to prominence. through the ranks, eventually becoming the firm’s first Chief Learning Officer, followed by the Development Leader for PwC West businesses in Canada, Brazil and Mexico, as well as in other Latin American and Caribbean countries. He is a member of the Association of the US Army (AUSA), the Association for Talent Development (ATD) and the AICPA. He is also very active in his community and is deputy mayor and commissioner of revenue and finance in his hometown. Evans lives in Nutley.

Martinez is an architect at RSC Architects, a full-service architectural firm specializing in healthcare, education and municipal works. Previously, he worked in New York for Kohn Pedersen Fox, an international architectural firm specializing in skyscrapers in New York and Asia. Martinez is a registered architect in the state of New Jersey and a member of the American Institute of Architecture and the National Council of Architectural Registration Board. He received his BA from Lehigh University and his MA in Architecture from the New Jersey Institute of Technology. Recently married, Martinez lives in Ridgewood with his wife Burgess.

Geisel is President of Corporate Banking at Sterling National Bank, where he leads corporate banking strategic, innovation and execution activities. His responsibilities include strategic planning, mergers and acquisitions, capital allocation and overall execution of revenue generation. In addition, Geisel is a member of numerous committees of the bank, as well as a number of major professional societies in New York and New Jersey. He was named one of New Jersey’s “50 Most Influential People in Banking” by NJBIZ and his ideas have been featured in many leading media outlets.

To learn more about how you can support the Hackensack University Medical Center Foundation, please contact Clare Ward, Acting Executive Director, Hackensack University Medical Center Foundation, at [email protected] or visit hackensackumc.org/givenow.


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Non profit living

Mother whose son was shot and killed offers help to families affected by gun violence

HAMPTON, Virginia – A mother who lost her son to gun violence has founded a non-profit organization to help other grieving parents after losing a child.

The support group is called MM2K, which stands for “Mommies Matter to Kyyri”.

Sevhn Doggette’s son Kyyri was 25 when he was shot and killed in August 2017. It happened in Charlotte, North Carolina, where Doggette now lives.

She tells News 3 that she is from Hampton Roads and comes here often, and when she heard about the recent violence involving young people, she felt compelled to publicize her organization.

Doggette says MM2K initially provides a listening ear to grieving moms and dads. She also said they have licensed therapists who volunteer their time.

“As for the different mechanics to help them go through, basically every day because it’s like a roller coaster ride for us,” Doggette explained.

As part of the support services, they sometimes even accompany parents to court in the face of the person (s) accused of having killed their child.

“Now you have to deal with this,” she added. “I’m also facing a life sentence and haven’t even committed a crime.”

Related: Norfolk Mother Who Lost Son To Gun Violence Hosts New Podcast to Help Grieving Families

Doggette says that while MM2K is active in Charlotte, she also hopes to host community events in Hampton Roads. She encourages families affected by gun violence to reach out.

More information about MM2K can be found here.

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History organization

Bible Society’s New Philadelphia Museum Tells American History with a Religious Lean

The first iteration of Independence Mall was such a dud that many blocks along the park went untapped for years and then ended up becoming sites for high-security government offices. But after the mall was renovated in the early 2000s with more greenery and a new visitor center, the three-block expanse became a popular destination for specialist museums keen to partner with the ideals. founders of the nation. Now everyone wants a place in the mall to tell their side of American history.

This summer, Faith and Freedom Discovery Center became the mall’s latest star-seeking attraction, joining the Jewish National Museum and the President’s House Memorial to Enslaved Africans. The center was created by the American Bible Society, the organization responsible for storing Bibles in nightstands in hotel rooms around the world. The Bible Society had long been headquartered in New York City, but decided to move its operations to Philadelphia in 2015 when offices overlooking the Fifth and Market mall became available. As part of the deal, the company also obtained the rights to the ground floor of the building.

The Bible Society immediately knew they wanted to expand their mission by opening an exhibition space around the corner. In addition to distributing thousands of Bibles in dozens of languages, the company had amassed an impressive collection of historical Bibles, including the one used by William Penn. What better place to present its history, the group thought, than the city where Penn established a colony based on religious tolerance and where the American Republic was born.

»READ MORE: American Bible Society’s Faith and Freedom Discovery Center opens across from Independence Mall

While the location was great, the space was a challenge. While Fifth and Market should be a welcoming gateway to the Old Town, the dismal 1970s office building has turned its back on the mall. The downstairs retail space, which once housed a bank, was hidden behind a dark archway and the views were blocked by an oversized SEPTA entrance. It didn’t help that the Jewish Museum, just across the street, was built in 2010 with an equally unappealing ground floor. This museum, designed by James Polshek, doesn’t even have a door to the mall and looks as fortified and austere as the US Mint, just up the street.

After a complete renovation of the ground floor, the Faith and Liberty Discovery Center began operating at full capacity on Independence Day. The Bible Society doesn’t want you to think of the center as a museum of Christianity or a museum of religion – or even a museum at all. The goal, according to director Pat Murdock, is to show how religious faith of all kinds has shaped America’s basic operating system and remains the bulwark of all our freedoms.

While this premise may appeal to some ardent believers, most mainstream historians would argue that this claim distorts and oversimplifies American history and is at odds with the founders’ efforts to keep religion out of the discussion. But because the Faith and Liberty Center preaches a message of tolerance – something that’s welcome in these polarized times – I couldn’t wait to see how it linked its exhibits to the mall’s evolving narrative and used them to activate this corner. dead.

With the help of architect David Searles of JacobsWyper Architects and Local projects, the exhibition designer responsible for the National September 11 Memorial, the company greatly enhanced the building’s street presence. The corner is still covered in SEPTA stairs, including one that has been inexplicably styled with AstroTurf. But now a sloping walkway leads from Market Street to a gleaming glass entrance pavilion on Fifth Street. The path is lined with benches which invite passers-by to relax. At the glass pavilion, a swirling white sculpture nicknamed Lighthouse emerges from the roof, helping to mark the place. At night, the sculpture, designed by Local Projects, becomes a real beacon. The corner almost feels alive for the first time.

Almost, but not quite. Like all of the other attractions that have taken root in the mall (with the exception of the open-air President’s House), the Faith and Liberty Center needs darkness to run its high-tech exhibits. As a result, two of the three bays in the building facing the shopping center on Fifth Street were covered with white panels. Searles arranged them in a curved shape to make the panels more interesting. But a white wall remains a white wall.

These boarded up windows say a lot about the entire company. Just as the centre’s facade isn’t as transparent as it should be, neither are its exhibits.

As soon as you arrive at the box office, you are given a digital wand and encouraged to anoint (er, type) your favorite texts and images, just like you would light a candle in a church. It is not just a sign of approval. By touching the wand on the text panels, you can download the information to your computer after leaving the museum. Just as the company places Bibles in hotel rooms, it now has the ability to place these exhibits directly into your personal digital space. Like Facebook and Google, the Bible Society is eager to collect your metadata.

Despite the company’s biblical collection, books are not the main show. In fact, you can barely see them because the lighting has to be low for the interactive displays in the center. As you enter the main hall, you are greeted by a series of video interviews with ordinary people who tell their personal stories around the faith; it is the technological version of witnessing in a church. The exhibit ends in a circular theater where the exhibit’s designers recreated William Penn’s stormy journey across the Atlantic on the Welcome ship, with virtual rats scurrying under your feet.

The Bible Society has gone to great lengths to ensure that exhibits appear non-denominational and include non-Christian religions. Murdock told me he wanted people of all faiths to feel comfortable at the center. So you won’t find the name Jesus anywhere in the center. Quotes from Ben Franklin and James Madison – two skeptics of organized religion who called themselves deists – abound. In a section titled “Changemakers,” there are tributes to Catholic, Jewish and Black social justice activists including Dorothy Day, Cesar Chavez, Sojourner Truth and Rebecca Gratz of Philadelphia. Yet despite all the ecumenism and the struggle for inclusion, the framing and choice of words struck me, a non-Christian, as deeply Christian.

Much of the story told at the center revolves around Penn, a devout Quaker whose great contribution to American life has been his belief that people should be free to worship any faith they choose. By invoking Penn, the Bible Society attempts to equate faith with tolerance. Of course, we know that faith is just as often used to justify intolerance. The Bible Society itself has recently started requiring employees to adhere to a strict set of conservative evangelical mores, making it impossible for members of the LGBTQ community to work in it openly. Nonetheless, the exhibits assert that all the freedoms Americans hold dear today stem from freedom of religion. Without faith in a higher force, they claim, there would be no America.

It’s not exactly the standard story. “The story they tell is essentially a fairy tale,” said Jonathan zimmerman, professor of educational history at Penn.

READ MORE: A year after the American Bible Society issued an ultimatum, nearly 20% of its staff have quit

One might as well argue that America was born in response to the rationalist and humanistic ideas of the Enlightenment. Or that American tolerance is a product of our mercantile culture, as practiced by the Dutch in New Amsterdam. This is the thesis of the excellent history of New York by Russell Shorto, The island at the center of the world. In this proto-capitalist era, only the Benjamins counted. The French political philosopher Montesquieu also observed the strong link between trade and the desire for freedom.

Either way, America’s record on tolerating non-white, non-Protestant groups is quite poor. The Faith and Liberty Center could never have moved to Boston, Zimmerman noted, because the founding Puritans “were very intolerant” of all other religions.

To its credit, the center recognizes the many sins America has committed in the name of faith and the Bible, from the slaughter of Native Americans and slavery, to anti-Catholic and anti-Semitic bigotry. But the contrition of the center is woefully insufficient. From the examples presented, you might be forgiven for thinking that we gave up our intolerant habits at the end of the 19th century. Like everything else in the exhibit, the facts are generously handpicked to support the centre’s narrative. There is no mention of 20th century efforts to suppress Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Communists and members of the LGBTQ community, or current efforts in cities across the country. use zoning to prevent American Muslims from building mosques.

It may not be a museum of Christianity, but it is a museum of Judeo-Christianity. On the centre’s website, its exhibition manager, Alan Crippen, argues that “the Good Book has been an influential and positive spiritual source and cultural force for what is good in America.” Sadly, this leaves out a large number of Americans whose religions do not use the Bible as the basis of their teachings, let alone those who identify as atheists. Marci Hamilton, a constitutional law scholar who began her career as a law clerk for Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, told the Inquirer earlier this year that “the Bible did not play the part. disproportionate that they are trying to give him ”.

By being located opposite the Jewish Museum, the Faith and Freedom Center tries to put the two attractions on the same level. There is a big difference, however. The Jewish Museum simply suggests that American democracy created the conditions that allowed immigrant Jews to flourish. The Faith and Freedom Center asserts that religious faith, mostly Christian in type, is what made our democracy possible in the first place.

For all of its flaws, America has come to be more tolerant than most nations and with a greater commitment to freedoms of speech, assembly, and religion. But if you want to understand why, you’d better walk to the other end of the mall and visit the National Constitution Center.


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